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World Music CD Reviews North American

3 GENERATIONS WALKING

By VINCENT ATTARD
Published May 5, 2006

3 Generations Walking
Spiritual Life

The architects of 3 Generations Walking (Brooklyn soul DJ Michael Kenneth Lopez and Pittsburgh guitarist Herman “Soy Sos” Pearl) craft a dance foundation in the vein of Black Uhuru, fusing elements of jazz, house, reggae and dub. The complex design of 3GW is formed through a magical arsenal of bassists, string and brass players and percussionists (including Philip Gillespie, cousin of the late Dizzy). Vocal contributions span the stylistic map, from renowned Chilean jazz singer Claudia Acuna’s trancelike, Bjork-ish wails on “Who Knows” to Haitian native Gary French’s island injections on “To Live.” Four tracks feign mystic featuring French lyricist-vocalist Christiane D, magnetically sexy on “Glory” as she shyly invites the listener to “catch a whiff of this essence.” These charged moments offer twists and turns making this delightfully impossible to peg. As Pearl floats his digitized guitar over the kalimba playing of Lopez on “Meditation,” you can almost hear the crumbling of musical barriers torn down.